- Politics and Social Issues
Disclaimer: If you are someone who believes that only your opinion is correct, and you don't actually want to learn anything from the thoughts and ideas of others, this is not the post you should be reading. This topic is such a hot-button issue to me because any time that two people attempt to express their opinions on the topic verbally, the people on both sides of the conversation do not listen to each other. These conversations, when taking place verbally, are not actually conversations. The process involves two people stating their opinions to each other over and over without anyone walking away from the conversation feeling any different than when it started. This is the reason that I would like to express my ideas on this topic in written form. When reading a topic one has to take the words in front of them into consideration and actually take them in, as opposed to simply spewing an opinion that falls on deaf ears or ignoring what is being said to them because they are thinking about what their next point will be.
To begin, I would like to list the reasons that the term "white privilege" aggravates me.
1. The assumption that every white person in existence was born wealthy and has no problems in their life whatsoever. I know plenty of people who are white that have experienced violence, poverty, and hatred the same way people of color have.
2. The assumption that because one looks "white," he or she has no family members of color and has no way of understanding or seeing what people of color experience. As someone who is mixed, I have seen both sides of the situation. No one knows this, because the assumption is made that I am white and have never seen people of color in situations where they are blatantly mistreated.
3. White people pointing out "white privilege" and basically apologizing for being white. These people never actually want to help. They simply want to point out that they are aware of the problem. To me this is equivalent to standing in front of someone who is starving, eating a sandwich, pointing out that you are eating a sandwich, and apologizing for having it in the first place-but not offering to share your sandwich with the starving person. There are people who apologize for having white privilege who could sell all of the expensive items their white privilege has afforded them, such as electronics, and donate the proceeds to help poor black children in Detroit. But are people who apologize about having white privilege willing to do this? No. Absolutely not. They simply want to point out white privilege and acknowledge its existence, but they don't want to help. Going back to the sandwich analogy, if you are going to eat in front of a starving man and not offer to help, then shut up about it and stop pointing it out to him.
4. The obnoxious assumption that if you are white, the black community needs your help in pointing out the fact that they are discriminated against. Especially if you are one of the many, many, people who isn't actually willing to help. Many people who use the term "white privilege" view themselves as some kind of superhero in a cape flying down from the sky to right societal wrongs by telling people to "check their privilege." In reality, all these people are doing is adding to the problem by uselessly pointing out that there is one.
5. The idea that because you picked up a text book and read the first few paragraphs of it in a Women and Gender Studies course, you suddenly know all about the plight of colored people and social injustice. You learn through experience, through talking to others, and through research. Not through sitting in a college class bitching to others about how unfair life is.
To sum it up: if you're going to apologize for being white, but you don't want to help anyone who is underprivileged, shut your mouth and stop pointing out the obvious. Maybe just sit there quietly and eat your sandwich.
Have a great day everyone!